56 SERVO 11.2013
FIGURE 1. The ArdBot II with
front bumper switches, ready
to set out into a cruel and
By Gordon McComb
We all love a robot that does something. Even
if that something is just to entertain us. The
ArdBot II — an affordable and expandable robot
base designed around the Arduino Uno
microcontroller — both entertains and educates.
In previous installments of this series, we
learned how to build the basic ArdBot II base
which is shown in Figure 1. We added an
Arduino controller, some motors, and couple of
batteries, and out came our working bot. We
also learned how to equip it with a rudimentary
sense of touch, and discovered how easy it is to
use simple tones to provide feedback.
This time, we take things a step further and give the ArdBot II the ability to be controlled remotely.
The robot is still autonomous — that is, it reacts to its
environment and makes cute beeping tones to let
you know what it’s doing. With an inexpensive
infrared receiver module along with a $2 TV remote,
we can also command the bot to do our bidding.
After all, that’s what robots are for.
In previous months, I’ve mentioned that certain
accessories — specifically the front leaf switches and
piezo speaker — are optional. In this article, I’ll
assume your ArdBot II includes these options.
This is Your Robot,
Remote control through an infrared light beam is
surprisingly simple, thanks to low cost IR receiver
modules that you can find in online electronics stores
such as SparkFun and Parallax. Price varies from
about $1 to $5, depending on the source. I’ve noted